As the 2024 election season approaches, all eyes are on West Virginia as the potential starting point for the GOP’s journey toward regaining the Senate majority. Pollsters and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) have identified the 2024 West Virginia Senate race as a crucial battleground that could determine the fate of the majority. According to the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, the GOP appears to have a strong chance of flipping the seat red, as they have classified West Virginia as “Leans Republican.” With this designation, the stage is set for an intense and closely watched campaign in West Virginia, with the GOP aiming to reclaim the Senate majority after four years.
According to the Daily Caller:
“Overall, the GOP appears well-positioned in West Virginia, their top target,” a report from UVA’s Center for Politics stated. “If they flip that state and hold everything they currently have, they just need one more seat to get to 51, an outright majority no matter what happens in the presidential race.”
The seat is currently held by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who was first elected in 2010 and previously served as the governor of the state. Manchin has not announced whether he will be seeking reelection, and has not ruled out running for president on a third-party ticket.
Incumbent Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced his candidacy for the Senate seat in April. There will be a primary election as Republican West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney is also seeking the nomination.
“West Virginia is a must,” Jim McLaughlin, president and partner of polling firm McLaughlin and Associates, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The good news is Manchin is done. His numbers are horrible right now in West Virginia.”
The political landscape in West Virginia is in a state of flux as the race for the Senate seat heats up. While a recent poll conducted by Eastern Carolina University shows Justice with a significant lead over Joe Manchin, Mooney’s narrow advantage suggests a close contest. The Cook Political Report considers West Virginia a “toss-up,” indicating the unpredictability of the outcome. Nevertheless, the recognition of the seat’s vulnerability by major news outlets like CNN and CNBC underscores the significance of this election. As West Virginians head to the polls, the race remains highly competitive and will undoubtedly shape the future direction of the state and its representation in the Senate.